After a long period of time when he was the proverbial next in line, Canadian light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo has stepped to the front of the pack and claimed his first major MMA title.
This past Friday at MFC 28: Supremacy, Jimmo defeated rival Dwayne Lewis to claim the promotion’s 205-pound championship in a fight he controlled from the beginning.
“Dwayne’s a very tough guy,” Jimmo told MMAWeekly.com. “He was tougher than I anticipated, so it was a good win, a good victory, and I’m glad to have the belt around my waist.”
Early on Jimmo peppered Lewis’ side and legs with kicks, which quickly developed deep, dark bruises.
“I couldn’t tell when I looked at Dwayne that it was hurting him, but in between rounds I looked over and his side was just pretty purple, so I knew it was taking his toll,” said Jimmo.
The fighters eventually hit the ground, which to Jimmo’s admittance probably should have been his focus of attack from the beginning.
“Once it hit the ground, it was no contest there,” he stated. “I feel I’m quite a bit better on the ground than he is, but I stood with him and played into his strengths a little bit. If I had taken the fight right to the ground it could have been over quite a bit quicker.”
The fight came to an abrupt end in the third round when an apparent clash of heads caused Lewis to develop what could only be described as one of the most grotesque cases of swelling under the eye in MFC history.
The doctor stopped the fight due to Lewis’ inability to see, and awarded the win and belt to Jimmo.
“It was fantastic, and I felt relief,” said Jimmo. “It was like, ‘Ah, finally I can eat a fatty meal, have a beer, and relax and not be so strict.’ It’s just a lot of relief and a big rush of joy.”
While most may bask in the elation of winning a championship, Jimmo intends to approach his newfound glory in a different way.
“I’m going to treat this as a failure,” he admitted. “I know it’s not a failure, it’s a win, but I’m going to pretend in my own mind that it’s a loss, so I make sure I get better.
“It’s very easy when you win something like this and get complacent. So I’m going to look at this as a failure and am going to keep working harder to improve.”
In a month, Jimmo intends to compete in the Wrestling Nationals, and after that his attention will return to defending his MFC title against a fighter he believes will be someone he has defeated before.
“I think right now it may be Emanuel Newton,” commented Jimmo. “He beat Dwayne Lewis, who just fought me for the title, and he just beat Rodney Wallace.
“I may be mistaken, but I think the winner of Rodney versus Razak Al-Hassan (whom Newton replaced due to injury) was supposed to go against the winner of me and Dwayne for the title. So it’s Emanuel if you ask me, and I don’t see how they’d really argue with that.”
Now that he has a title, Jimmo intends to be a fighting champion and believes that it will make him an even better fighter as time moves on.
“We’re going to wrestle in a month, then fulfill our MFC contract, and then my manager and team will see what’s on the horizon and see what pops up and take the opportunities as they come,” he said in closing.
“They say when someone gets the belt and becomes a champion, just through confidence they get better – like 30 percent better just in confidence – so keep your eyes open because I’m only going to get better.”